STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 12 Mississippi State baseball enters the Starkville Regional as the No. 7 national seed and will begin its journey to the College World Series against Samford on Friday at 2 p.m. CT at Dudy Noble Field. The game will be airing on ESPN3.
The Bulldogs are hosting an NCAA regional for the 15th time in program history. MSU is 42-18 over 14 NCAA Regionals played at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU (40-15) enters the NCAA Tournament after back-to-back run-rule losses in the SEC Tournament. The Bulldogs lost 13-1 to No. 13 Florida and 12-2 to then-No. 4 Tennessee.
Senior Tanner Allen, who earned first-team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on Thursday, leads the team with a .384 batting average, 81 hits, 54 RBIs and 55 runs. Senior Rowdey Jordan is batting .314 with 65 hits, 57 runs and 38 RBIs.
Sophomore pitcher Will Bednar (6-1) will get the start in Game 1 of the regional. He has appeared in 14 games with 12 starts and has struck out 101 batters in 64 innings.
Samford (35-22) earned its third bid to the NCAA Tournament by beating Western Carolina 8-6 in walk-off fashion on Sunday in the Southern Conference championship game.
The blue and red Bulldogs are led by junior Tyler McManus with a .335 batting average, 60 hits, 52 RBIs and 41 runs. Junior Max Pinto leads the team in hits (64) and runs (56) on a .288 batting average.
Samford’s starting pitcher for Friday’s game will be junior Samuel Strickland. He enters the tournament with a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 5.07. He has struck out 69 batters in 76 1⁄3 innings.
Friday’s game will mark the 48th for the pair of Bulldogs. MSU owns a 37-10 lead in the all-time series.
MSU: RHP Will Bednar (6-1, 3.23 ERA)
SU: LHP Samuel Strickland (5-3, 5.07 ERA)
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